Chancellor's Friday Letters

Appreciating Our Staff

Appreciating Our Staff

April 2, 2010

Dear Friends,

Our University is built metaphorically on a three legged stool… students, faculty, and staff. We cannot stand if all three legs are not strong.

We often think of the university in terms of the accomplishments of our terrific faculty, students, post-docs and alumni… and that is a proper place to focus. Our academic excellence is the basis of our reputation and aspirations for the future.

But let me be clear…none of the teaching, learning, research and creative activity, nor engagement through outreach, can occur without equally talented and dedicated staff members.

I was reminded of this during this first week of spring quarter, when I sat down with groups of our staff employees in a variety of formal and informal settings.

I heard about the unbelievable burdens that staff members, particularly those in the lowest paying positions, are enduring with the reductions in salary they have taken because of the state budget crisis. I heard about their concerns for the future, their jobs, and their retirement.

But much more so than their justified and deep-seated concerns, these co-workers expressed enormous pride in their work and in this place.

One woman who has no other family is celebrating her 10th year here. She works the night shift and provides custodial support to one of our newest buildings. The way she described her job you couldn’t help having goose bumps because of the loving pride and care she brings to us. We invited her to lunch along with several other randomly selected staff members who came to the residence to share their views with my wife Karen and me.

So today I say, a tip of our hats to these wonderful and dedicated staff employees.

These good folks make the facilities operate, keep the landscape beautiful, and prepare food for our students, employees and guests. They handle sophisticated research instrumentation, provide academic advice and student support, and professionalize the libraries, collections and museums. Staff keep us safe through law enforcement and environmental safety programs, and keep us healthy through the student health clinic. They develop Highlander pride in our intercollegiate athletics program.

They support research in our laboratories and teaching in our classrooms, and take ideas to market through technology transfer and licensing efforts.

Staff members manage the residence halls, deal with finance, legal and risk issues, enhance relationships with alumni, manage our endowment, seek philanthropic gifts, sustain relations with government and community agencies, provide innovation and support to the arts and theater programs, do our marketing, and provide news and communications.

They manage events here and in our Palm Desert campus. They teach the children of students, faculty and staff at the Child Development Center.

They recruit students, handle grades and transcripts, and manage the financial aid process that is vital for our students. They manage the enrollment process. Staff keep our vehicles maintained and functioning for campus transportation needs, manage parking, and provide skilled crafts and architectural services to new construction and renovations.

Staff handle the delivery of mail, and the purchasing and delivery of supplies for all the departments and units on campus. They manage our natural reserves, research fields, and agricultural operations here in Riverside, and throughout Central and Southern California. They have committed to recycling and sustainability in our waste management efforts.

Staff sustain an information technology program that supports teaching, learning, research and creative activity, communications and enterprise business systems.

Through extension, our staff members connect and engage the community locally, regionally and around the globe.

And what unit on campus could function without the minds, hearts and organizational skills of its clerical and administrative staff? And the campus itself could not operate without the staff who work in human resources, accounting, payroll, audit, capital programs, and the myriad services we need every day.

So to all of us on campus, I say little graces go a long way – next week do something special for a staff member in your area.

And to our campus guests and visitors, the next time you are here, look around and ponder the magnificent effort that keeps this university family of 19,500 students, along with 4,900 employees, clean, productive, and safe.

Warm regards.


Tim White, Chancellor

Share your thoughts: http://fridayletters.ucr.edu/leavefeedback

UCR Student Saves a Life
Taylor Booker, a freshman majoring in biochemistry, received an unexpected early morning phone call and acted compassionately to help a complete stranger hundreds of miles away, who was actively experiencing a debilitating stroke. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_W_rescue31.1eab4cb.html

Runners say, “Sí, Se Puede”
Some gentle exercise can go a long way to generating scholarships for UCR students and money for Riverside-area youth programs. That’s the goal of UC Riverside’s 9th Annual César E. Chávez 5K Run/Walk. Early tomorrow morning runners start at the bell tower. Thanks to Chicano Student Programs for organizing this event.

Religion in the Age of Obama
How have evangelical pastors reacted to President Obama? Religious studies scholar Jonathan Walton will offer insights in “Stationed in the King’s Court: Evangelicals in the Age of Obama” at 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 7, in room 1113 of the Interdisciplinary building. The talk is part of the Lyceum Lecture series offered by the Center for Ideas and Society.
Wondering what else is going on at UCR? It’s all listed at http://www.ucr.edu/happenings/

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

Office of the Chancellor
4108 Hinderaker Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5201
Fax: (951) 827-3866

E-mail: chancellor@ucr.edu